Friday, June 26, 2015

Early Summer means Buckle

I like food posts. I am careful about what I eat and I exercise, though clearly not driven by a perfection I cannot attain. Food though represents most things I am interested in....friends, family, heritage, culture, history, economics and life. So, Tapenade is not for my "I am so over food posts" friends" who eat to live. I get that. Most days I also opt for that simple plan.

Tapenade is for my friends who find the joy I do in what food represents, wherever it is served. It it wasn't for an interest in cooking and food formed when I was five years old and fostered, I wouldn't teach history or psychology. I wouldn't care to travel. 

So, here's to that chicken foot I tormented one of my students with in China, and here is my first Tapenade post of summer....breaking some rules. My own rhubarb, and Spooner Farm Raspberries 2015. This summer I am on the go in the Pacific Northwest, and eventually to Quebec, Canada. My time preparing the food might be at a minimum. Of course I turned some of the raspberries from today into a cake for my special guest from England, Kyle Skelton, whose mom and dad are expert baker and chef, in that order. They also raise most of their own food in the North Yorkshire, I  can't match the food act. has a mysterious heritage, but most websites link it to our American Colonists. I am sure these women had to get things done in one pan whenever possible. My guess though is that it met the emotional need of those delicious cakes, scones and streudel's they had left behind.

Simple is good. Since it is probably Colonial, let's give new Englander's credit. Why not? I actually have an ancestor on my maternal grandmother's side, Noah Butterfield, who fought in the Revolutionary War. Here's to Noah's favorite wild blueberry buckle. Any fruit goes, and in the late summer plums are perfect. 

Buckle is beautiful....the cake batter rises up enveloping the fruit, and then the sugar or streusel topping if preferred give it a crinkly appearance. I go with lemon zest and sugar. Lovely.

Top the cake with about two cups of fruit of your choice. I toss my fruit with lemon zest as I mentioned. Sprinkle a couple of Tablespoons of sugar over the top and it's ready for the oven.

Make one:

Begin by letting one cup butter and two eggs come to room temperature. Prep your pan. My recipe calls for an 8 x 8 pan. Sometimes I use the 8 x 11 pan, less cake, more fruit. Still good. I just watch the baking time.

Mix the butter and eggs until smooth on medium high speed. Add one egg at a time. Add one cup of sugar and beat for a minute at high speed. Add the zest of one lemon. Save a little to mix with the fruit on top.

In a small bowl sift 1 and a half cups all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add that in thirds to the batter on low with about 1/3 cup milk. 

Bake at 325 degrees about 45 minutes. Look for the gorgeous brown crinkly top and smell the warm fruit. It's ready.